Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has told Algemeen Dagblad that he wasn’t pleased with his own performances last season.

The Reds missed out on the Champions League after finishing fifth, and have managed to turn things around this season. They are currently second in the table, trailing league leaders Manchester City by a point.

Van Dijk received criticism following the Netherlands’ exit from the World Cup, and when responding to it, he opened up about his own form for both Liverpool and his country last season.

“I take some criticism seriously, but not all. I know very well when I play well and when I don’t. Last season was just mediocre, sometimes even bad. As a team we also struggled to find a good rhythm at Liverpool,” he said.

“The Nations League with the Dutch team was also not good. I have thought and talked about it a lot to be able to turn that around. That worked, I think. Things have been going very well again since the summer.”

AD have also pointed out that the defender’s statistics from this season indicates that he has regained his best form.

In October 2020, the former Southampton man suffered a serious knee injury and it forced him to spend a long spell on the sidelines. The 32-year-old has now talked about it and has also insisted that his knee ‘no longer provides any inhibition’.

“That just takes a while. My injury was very serious, it is not surprising that you have to get to know your knee again, so to speak. But now I don’t notice it anymore. I haven’t had to change much in my way of playing, I have the feeling that I can do everything again,” Van Dijk explained.

Following Jordan Henderson’s exit from Anfield in the summer, Jürgen Klopp made the Dutchman as the club captain this season, and the manager’s decision has clearly pleased Van Dijk.

“I naturally find it very beautiful and honourable. There’s a lot involved, perhaps even more at the club than at the national team. You have a lot of responsibility towards the entire team, especially the younger boys, and also towards the club as a whole,” he said.

“I don’t always play in our European matches, but as captain you are still expected to be important to the team on those days. I try to do my very best in that regard. It certainly doesn’t have a negative impact on my game. Not exactly: it is more of an incentive.”